A Legal Look at Motorcycle Accident Statistics
If you ride a motorcycle for transportation, recreation, or both, you know the importance of staying safe while you’re on the road.
With motorcycle season in full swing, even in the midst of a pandemic, safety is more important than ever. Below we’ve listed out some truly astonishing facts about motorcycle accidents in Louisiana and beyond.
Keep reading to learn more, and if you’ve recently been involved in a motorcycle crash, the attorneys at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers are here to help. Call us today for a free consultation, or visit our contact page.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can happen for any number of reasons, from bad weather and defective roadways to being struck by another driver and others. However, there are a few notable trends when it comes to motorcycle accidents:
- In almost 70 percent of motorcycle crashes involving another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle (usually a car or truck) caused the crash by violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
- One particularly common form of this type of accident is left-turn accidents, in which a driver turning left collides with a motorcyclist who’s driving straight through an intersection. The motorcyclist has the right-of-way in these situations, but careless drivers may not see them coming or allow for enough time to make their turn safely.
- Another significant cause of motorcycle accidents is riders colliding with stationary objects. In one recent year, 23 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involved the motorcycle hitting a fixed object. That compares with 17 percent for passenger cars, 13 percent for light trucks, and 4 percent for large trucks.
- Speeding is another major factor in motorcycle accidents. NHTSA data shows that 33 percent of all motorcycle riders that were involved in a fatal accident were speeding. That compares with 19 percent of passenger car drives involved in fatal crashes.
- Other reckless behaviors like lane-splitting also contribute heavily to motorcycle crashes.
What Percentage of Motorcycle Accidents Involve Alcohol?
Alcohol use is a major factor in many motorcycle accidents. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 37 percent of motorcycle riders who die in a single-vehicle crash were later found to be impaired by alcohol while riding.
How Much Do Helmets Actually Help in a Motorcycle Accident?
Helmet use can be a touchy subject among motorcyclists when it comes to how much they help in a crash. Different states have different rules requiring helmet use, and opinions differ greatly among riders as to the effectiveness of helmets.
In one study, the NHTSA reported that helmets saved the lives of about 1,630 motorcyclists across the United States in a single year. The study’s authors also noted that there were about 11 times as many un-helmeted motorcyclist deaths in states that didn’t have universal helmet laws (1,704 deaths) compared with states that did have universal helmet laws (150).
What Is the Fatality Rate in Motorcycle Accidents?
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that there were 5,172 fatal motorcycle crashes in one year, for a fatality rate of 59.34 deaths per 100,000 registered motorcycles. Those figures are down slightly from the previous year, when there were 5,337 fatalities for a rate of 61.49 deaths per 100,000 registered motorcycles.
Are Motorcycle Accidents Happening More Frequently?
While motorcycle accident fatalities may be decreasing, albeit slightly, the increased growth in motorcycle sales means that motorcyclists are still overrepresented when it comes to crashes. The NHTSA reports that motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities while only making up 3 percent of all registered vehicles on U.S. roads.
How Does Louisiana Compare When It Comes to Motorcycle Crashes?
Louisiana does not fare well when you look at motorcycle crash data. According to this report from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, motorcycle crash fatalities rose an astounding 32.9 percent from 2010 to 2017, with a 3.2 percent increase from 2016 to 2017 alone. The news is also grim when it comes to alcohol-related fatalities, as there was a 72.7 increase in alcohol-related motorcyclist deaths from 2010 to 2017. From 2016 to 2017, researchers noted a 31 percent increase in alcohol-related motorcyclist deaths.
In terms of raw numbers, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission report noted that there were 74 motorcycle crash fatalities in 2005, compared with 97 deaths in 2017. The report states that along with those deaths, there were 119 severe injuries in motorcycle crashes in 2005, compared with 179 injuries in 2017.
The report contains a few interesting notes regarding the use of helmets in Louisiana motorcycle crashes. The report states that in one recent year, 86.5 percent of motorcyclists were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. In terms of fatal crashes, the report says that only 72.9 percent of motorcyclists killed in a crash were wearing their helmet properly.
Talk to a Louisiana Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Were you hurt in a motorcycle crash in Louisiana? If so, be sure to turn to an experienced motorcycle lawyer for help. Our attorneys understand the specific challenges that injured bikers face after a crash. Be sure to hire a legal team with the right skills, knowledge, and resources to handle your case.
To make sure your rights are protected, call the motorcycle accident attorneys at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers today. We’re here to help motorcycle accident victims seek the compensation they’re owed. We have a successful track record of recovering losses for our clients.
To learn more about your rights and legal options, call our office or reach out to us online. Our consultations are 100% free, and you won’t pay us anything until we win your case. The sooner you call, the sooner you can get started on the road to recovery.